Should the Ravens consider drafting a wide receiver in the first round for the second straight year?
If they do, the early money would be on Mississippi wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. He is generally considered the top wide receiver in the draft, and could be available for the Ravens, who hold the No. 6 pick.
However, the Ravens also need a pass rusher and help in the secondary, and have uncertainty at left tackle. The Ravens have never taken a wide receiver with their first pick in back-to-back years. Would taking Treadwell in the first round, after drafting wide receiver Breshad Perriman in the first round last year, be the best way to utilize the No. 6 pick?
In his latest mock draft, CSN’s Ben Standig has the Ravens taking Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson at No. 6, with Treadwell going No. 7 to the 49ers.
That scenario makes sense. The Ravens need to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and the Ravens have two veteran pass rushers to mentor Lawson – Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs, who is recovering from Achilles surgery.
However, wide receiver is definitely a need for the Ravens. Steve Smith Sr. will be 37 years old next season, coming off knee surgery. Perriman missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury. Kamar Aiken, the team’s most productive receiver last year, is a restricted free agent.
What happens in free agency will definitely influence the Ravens’ draft decisions. If they sign a veteran wide receiver in March, the chances of the Ravens’ drafting Treadwell are slim. However, if the Ravens don’t sign a veteran receiver, and Treadwell is still on the board at No. 6, he’ll be tempting. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper likens Treadwell’s skill set to Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
“He has tremendous hands, huge hands, great size, but the comparisons to Alshon Jeffery are accurate,” Kiper said during a conference call. “But Alshon Jeffery was a second-round pick. We’re talking about a top-10 pick here. So he’s got to run well enough (at the combine or pro day) to warrant being that high a pick.”
Imagine a Ravens’ offense next season with Perriman healthy and playing up to expectations, Treadwell playing like Jeffery, and Smith Sr. back at 100 percent. Can’t you see Joe Flacco smiling?
However, taking Treadwell at No. 6 could burn the Ravens if he doesn’t live up to expectations. That’s one of many things for the Ravens to consider, as they prepare for a crucial draft.